Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lesson 4: Adjectives and Adverbs

This is part of a series of posts on learning Solresol. To start at Lesson 1, click here.

Over the last two lessons, you have learned about verbs and nouns in Solresol - in this lesson you will learn how to modify verbs and nouns with adverbs and adjectives.

Adjectives are formed much like nouns - namely, by emphasizing a specific syllable in a base word. To form an adjective from another word, you emphasize the second-to-last (penultimate) syllable.


Milasi    -    To love (a person)
Milâsi    -    Loving (adj.)
Dosido    -    To help
Dosîdo    -    Helpful
Resolsido    -    To need
Resolsîdo    -    Needy

Adjectives always come after the noun they describe:

Ladosol dosîdo    -    Helpful book
Sôlsisol milâsi    -    Loving smile
Misolredo resolsîdo    -    Needy person

Misolredo    -    Person, a being, individual, human
Laremisi    -    To turn red, redden, blush
Laremila    -    To turn blue
Solsire    -    To be happy
Resisol    -    To be sad, sadden
Dofasolmi    -    To become beautiful, make oneself beautiful

Note that laremisi and laremila share a common beginning 'root', as they are both colours.

Note that solsire and resisol have opposite meanings and are 'mirror images' of each other. Many words in Solresol follow this pattern - you will see many more examples of this in later lessons.

When you learn a new word in Solresol, it's a good idea to think through all of its various forms. For example: 
Laremisi means to turn red, lâremisi means the abstract noun 'red', and laremîsi means 'red', the adjective. Laremila - 'to turn blue', functions exactly the same way. 
Solsire means 'to be happy', sôlsire means 'happiness', solsîre means 'happy'. 
Resisol means 'to be sad', rêsisol means 'sadness', resîsol means 'sad'. 
Dofasolmi means 'to become beautiful', dôfasolmi means 'beauty', dofasôlmi means 'beautiful'.

Adjectives are always used to describe nouns, even if they aren't next to the noun in the sentence:

La fadofasol faremi laremîsi.    -    The tree is red.
Dore faremi solsîre.    -    I am happy.
Domi faremi dofasôlmi.    -    You are beautiful.

(Note that the second sentence, while grammatically correct, is not the most efficient way to express the idea. Because solsire is a verb, one can simply say, "Dore solsire," which means, "I am happy.")

Adjectives can be formed from nouns too:

Fadofasol - tree; fadofâsol - tree-like.
Misolrela - person, individual; misolrêla - personal, individual (adj.)
Solresol - Solresol, language; solrêsol - Solresol (used as an adjective, e.g. "A Solresol word"); linguistic

Because one may add an accent to any word in Solresol, many words can be difficult to concisely translate into English. As a general rule, though: The adjective form of a verb embodies the characteristics of something/someone who does the verb often or very well; on a noun, it typically means 'like the noun'. For example, solsisol means 'to smile'; in the phrase la misolredo solsîsol, it is understood that the person smiles often, or is currently smiling, or that his/her most notable characteristic is his/her smile.

Adverbs are formed by stressing the final syllable. Adverbs modify verbs and adjectives - they are used to describe how something is done.

Milasi    -    Love (for a person)
Milasî    -    Lovingly
Dosido    -    Help
Dosidô    -    Helpfully
Solsire    -    To be happy
Solsirê    -    Happily

Adverbs, like adjectives, should generally come after the verb they modify:

Dofa solsisol solsirê.    -    He smiles happily.
Dore solmila resisôl.    -    I remember sadly.

Adverbs can also be made from nouns:

Domi dosolfami fadofasôl.    -    You stand like a tree.

Dosolfami    -    To stand, stand up, rise, get up

(dosolfâmi - standing, lifted, raised, on foot)

More Vocabulary:

Solsido    -    Run
Fasido    -    Walk
Fasimire    -    Speed, haste, velocity; (fast, quickly)
Remisifa    -    Dally, dawdle, linger; (slow, slowly)

With this, I leave you some sentences to practice with. As always, I encourage you to actually write down your responses, to learn more quickly. I also encourage you to experiment with making other sentences with what you know! And if you don't understand anything, just ask!

Translate to English:

Dore solsido fasimirê.
Domi ladofa remisifâ.
La fadofasol laremîsi faremi dofasôlmi.
Dofa solmila mire dore faremi resîsol.

Translate to Solresol:

The happy person runs to the tree.
You speak beautifully.
He learns quickly.
I love to walk slowly.
I want to be a beautiful person.
That book is red, and this book is blue.
He has a beautiful sadness.


I run quickly.
You read slowly.
The red tree is beautiful.
He remembers that I am sad.

La misolredo solsîre solsido fa la fadofasol.
Domi domilado dofasolmî.
Dofa sidosi fasimirê.
Dore milasol fasido remisifâ.
Dore fasifa faremi misolredo dofasolmî.
Fare fadosol faremi laremîsi, re fami fadosol faremi laremîla.
Dofa famisol rêsisol dofasôlmi.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Solresol Wiki, Solresol Subreddit

Hello, all!
I apologize for the lack of lessons lately. It's a combined fact of me being busy and waiting for the Solresol community to have a standpoint on certain ambiguities, so that I have something to teach...

But mostly this is an announcement post, because things are still moving along in the Solresol world! has seen a nice rise in activity, and a Solresol subreddit has also arisen ( We also now have a Solresol Wiki, to compile all relevant information about Solresol (and, I assume, to eventually hold bunches of Solresol writing). So check that out: It's very minimal now, but it'll keep building up.

Until next time!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lesson 3.5: Memorization Tips

This is a sort of in-between non-lesson in the Learning Solresol series of posts, regarding some tips on keeping up with vocabulary. If you want to start at Lesson 1, click here.

A big part of learning Solresol is memorizing words - as with any language, you need to know vocabulary more than grammar to really use it. Because of Solresol's limited set of syllables, it can sound repetitive and confusing as you learn more words. Here are some tips to lock in the vocabulary:

1. Make flashcards! Repetition solidifies what you know. Make a deck of flashcards and go through them as often as you can (try at least once a day). As you learn more words, add to your deck. If your deck gets too big, toss out the ones you know really really well, but come back to them every once in a while. 
A great addition to this technique is the website, which has sets of online flashcards. I maintain a set of Solresol vocabulary words there:
Feel free to join it; there will be sets of flashcards to go along with the lessons I post, as well as lots of miscellaneous sets of words.

2. Take advantage of Sudre's organization - remembering that certain words follow alphabetical sequences can help immensely. Solresol was organized to facilitate learning as much as possible. Some of the broader levels of organization only become clear as you build up your vocabulary more, and will be more helpful later on. I will try to point out any organization as often as I can to help you see it, and some other tricks will be the subject of later lessons.

3. Use the stenographic writing to visualize the words. It's much easier to remember pictures (no matter how random the picture is) than random syllables. If you know what a word is 'shaped like', you can figure out what the syllables are. To write a word using this system, just connect the shapes that correspond to the syllables in a general left-to-right and top-to-bottom fashion. If a syllable is repeated, draw a line through it. There are sometimes multiple ways of doing this, but if you follow those general directions it should be correct.

Domilado - to speak

Dosido - to help, aid, or assist

Famisol - to have, possess

Remila - to give

Resolsido - to need, require

Solresol - language

Solsisol - to smile
If you want to read more about Solresol's stenographic script and see more examples, you can check out Omniglot's page on Solresol:

I find the writing system to be the most useful aid to memory, but everyone's mind works differently. If you're musically inclined, remembering the sound patterns of words and singing them may help; if you can remember sequences of colors or numbers best, then do that. Take advantage of the multiple ways Solresol can be expressed - there's more to the language than the syllables.

When you're ready to go on to Lesson 4, click here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Learning Solresol, Lesson 3: Nouns

This is part of a series of lessons for learning Solresol. To start at lesson 1, click here.

In this lesson, we will learn how nouns are formed in Solresol, in addition to some new vocabulary.

First, to review, try to translate these sentences into English. Try to do it completely from memory, but if you can't remember a word, check your own notes or the previous lesson - check the answers when you're completely done. I encourage you to actually write down your responses; it will really help you learn.

Sidosi    -    To learn

Domi milasi dore.
Dofa do domilado Solresol.
Domi re dore fasifa sidosi Solresol.
Dofa do milasi domi.
Dore faremi.
Dofa sidosi domilado Solresol.


You love me.
He does not speak Solresol.
You and I want to learn Solresol.
He doesn't love you.
I am.
He learns to speak Solresol.

How did you do? If you had to go back and look up some words, that's okay - but memorization is very important to learning Solresol, so keep working on the vocabulary. There will be new vocabulary every lesson, so you'll want to keep up.

In Solresol, the same word is used for the verb, noun, adjective, and adverb - the various forms are distinguished by emphasizing specific syllables.

To form nouns, you accent the first syllable:

To speak
To be, exist
Existence, being
To love (a person)
Love (n) (for a person)

The accent over the letter indicates that you should emphasize that syllable - Sudre uses the term rinforzando, which is a sudden increase of emphasis, or another word for the musical term sforzando.

The notation for said accents isn't really set in stone - I like to use the accents I used above because they resemble an accent in music, but using 'normal' accents is also a popular choice (dó, ré, mí, fá, sól, lá, sí). You will occasionally see the accented syllable written in all caps (DOmilado), but try to only use that if there is no other option, because, frankly, it looks terrible.

In order to further the cause of this lesson, you will need some new vocabulary. I suggest you focus on each word carefully, and write them all down.

Redo    -    My, mine
Remi    -    Your, yours
Refa    -    His, its
Fare    -    That, that one
Fami    -    This, this one

These first five words are usually used to label nouns - they always come before the noun they label (redo mîlasi - my love). All these words, however, can also be used as nouns themselves (fare faremi redo - that is mine).

Note that the possessive pronouns are related to the corresponding subject pronouns:

Dore - I, me
Redo - My, mine
Domi - you
Remi - your, yours
Dofa - he, it
Refa - his, its

Also note that fare and fami are next to each other alphabetically, because they are related words.

Famisol    -    Have, possess, own
Milasol    -    Love (for things)
Solsisol    -    Smile, grin
Ladofa    -    Read
Remila    -    Give
Dosido    -    Help, aid, assist
Solmila    -    Remember, recollect
Resolsido    -    Need, require

These seven words are all verbs - but they can become nouns by accenting the first syllable: Solsisol - to smile; La sôlsisol - the smile. In the same way: la fâmisol - the possession, the thing owned; la mîlasol - the love (for a thing); la lâdofa - the reading, the read; la rêmila - the gift or present; la dôsido - the assistance, help, or aid; la sôlmila - the memory, the recollection; la rêsolsido - the need, the necessity.

Note the difference between milasi and milasol. Milasi is used to say you love a person; Milasol is used to talk of loving objects, animals, and activities. One may use milasi with poetic license in other contexts, but on a literal level it should only be used for people (or other sentient lifeforms, or fictional anthropomorphized creatures of some other nature).

Ladosol    -    Book (n.)
Fadofasol    -    Tree

These last two words, ladosol and fadofasol, are implicitly nouns - so they don't need the initial accent to be used that way.

Notice that ladofa - to read, and ladosol - book, are next to each other alphabetically, because they are related words.

The best way to learn is through examples and practice (citation needed). So, some examples:

Fare faremi redo ladosol.    -    That is my book.
Dore remila la rêmila fa domi.    -    I give the gift to you.
Dore milasol remi sôlsisol.    -    I love your smile.
Dofa fasifa ladofa fami ladosol.    -    He wants to read this book.
Fami faremi remi.    -    This is yours.

Now that you see how these words work in sentences, try to translate some on your own. As always, try to do as much as you can without checking, and do actually write down what you come up with. This is as much a test of vocabulary as it is of grammar, so be familiar with the new words from this lesson before doing the exercises (It's not really a test, though, don't worry).

Translate these into English:

Dofa milasol fare ladosol.
Domi famisol redo mîlasi.
Fare do faremi Solresol.
Dore resolsido dôsido!
Dofa famisol remi sôlsisol.
Domi resolsido solsisol.

And these into Solresol:

He has a tree. [Solresol doesn't have a word for 'a' or 'an' - just leave it out.]
You have my book!
That is mine.
This book is yours.
I don't remember his smile.
He has your gift.
You remember his love.


English Translations:

He loves that book.
You have my love.
That is not Solresol.
I need help!
He has your smile.
You need to smile.

Solresol Translations:

Dofa famisol fadofasol.
Domi famisol redo ladosol!
Fare faremi redo.
Fami ladosol faremi remi.
Dore do solmila refa sôlsisol.
Dofa famisol remi rêmila.
Domi solmila refa mîlasi. [Using mîlasol here wouldn't necessarily be wrong, but it would imply that his love is for something else, such as an activity or object.]

That's all for this lesson! Be sure you have all the vocab so far memorized, and that you understand everything from this lesson. If anything is unclear to you, feel free to leave a comment with your question.

To go on to the next segment of this series, click here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lesson 2: Basic Words and Grammar

(For Lesson 1: An Introduction, click here.)

Words in Solresol are formed, as you might expect, by creating combinations of syllables from its alphabet. Because of its limited size, almost every combination from 1 to 4 syllables in length has unique meaning, and synonyms are avoided. In total, there are 2260 words of four syllables or fewer - which is sufficient for almost all communication.

In general, the smallest words in Solresol have the most basic meaning, and the longer words are more specific. This fact aids learning, because one can start with shorter and easier to remember words. The first seven words to familiarize yourself with, for example, are:

One-Syllable Words

Do    -   No, not, neither, nor, etc.
Re    -     And
Mi    -     Or
Fa    -     To, at
Sol    -     If
La    -     The
Si    -     Yes

Most of these words are not immediately useful, but knowing them from the beginning will help you create sentences as you learn the necessary vocabulary. The most immediately useful and necessary words from this set are do, re, la, and si, but I will, in the future, assume you know them all.

Solresol words often come in groups of related terms - François Sudre did this intentionally to aid learning.
For instance, look at your first pronouns:

Dore    -    I, me
Domi    -    You
Dofa    -    He, it

These words occur in a sequential order alphabetically (-re, -mi, -fa), because they all hold a similar function.

In order to make a sentence, though, you need a verb.

Faremi    -    to be, exist

This verb is certainly one of the most important words in any language. Familiarize yourself with it, memorize it, and never forget it.

Solresol does not conjugate verbs for different subjects, as many languages do.

Dore faremi. - I am.
Domi faremi. - You are.
Dofa faremi. - He (it) is. 

In order to explain a few more ideas, we need a bit more vocabulary:

Domilado    -    To speak, talk, utter
Solresol    -    Solresol specifically, but also language in general 
Milasi    -    To love (a person); cherish
Fasifa    -    To want to do something, to intend to do

Solresol sentences (usually) take the structure subject-verb-object (SVO), as English usually is. For example:

Dofa milasi domi.    -    He loves you.
Domi milasi dofa.    -    You love him.

An unaltered verb (as seen in the sentence "Dore faremi") is always in either the present tense (e.g. "I am") or the infinitive (e.g. "to be"), depending on the context. For example:

Dore domilado Solresol.    -    I speak Solresol.
Dore fasifa domilado Solresol.    -    I want to speak Solresol.

Even though the word 'domilado' did not change, its function changed in the sentence from a conjugated verb to an infinitive.

By using the word 'do' (no, not, etc.), negation in Solresol is very simple. Just add 'do' before the relevant word (usually the verb).

Dore domilado Solresol.    -    I speak Solresol.
Dore do domilado Solresol.    -    I do not speak Solresol.
Dofa do milasi domi.    -    He doesn't love you.
Domi do faremi dore.    -    You are not me.

That's all for lesson two! Stay tuned for lesson 3, and have fun learning Solresol!

For next time, you need to know all the vocabulary from this lesson and understand this material. If anything doesn't make sense, leave a comment with your question, and I'm sure I'll be able to help.


Do    -   No, not, neither, nor, etc. (negation)
Re    -     And
Mi    -     Or
Fa    -     To, at
Sol    -     If
La    -     The
Si    -     Yes
Dore    -    I, me
Domi    -    You
Dofa    -    He, it
Faremi    -    to be, exist
Domilado    -    To speak, talk, utter
Solresol    -    Solresol specifically, but also language in general 
Milasi    -    To love (a person); cherish
Fasifa    -    To want to do something, to intend to do

When you're ready to go on to Lesson 3, click here.

Learning Solresol, Lesson 1: An introduction

So, you're interested in learning Solresol? Start here.

Solresol has a fascinating history, and I would definitely recommend you research it individually at your leisure to get a fuller understanding (for advice on where to look, see the bottom of this post), but here's a brief introduction:

Solresol is a constructed language, created by François Sudre in 1827. His goal was to create an international language - everyone would learn Solresol as a second language, and the language barrier would effectively be broken, because everyone would share a common tongue. This idea, of an international auxiliary language, is no longer unheard of, but Solresol was the first such language to become fully developed and gain widespread attention. While other languages (Such as Esperanto in theory, or English in practice) seem to be more viable alternatives for this purpose now, Solresol remains a remarkably unique language, deserving of attention - and maybe even a revival. With a dictionary available in English, a  (, and the passion of individuals able to connect via the internet, a revival is indeed in the making - but for that to happen, learning the language must be feasible. I'm not an expert by any means - but nobody is. My hope is that I can share my journey of learning Solresol by teaching you, and we can discover the language together.

Solresol's alphabet is based on the solfège syllables of the Western musical scale: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si. This sets it apart in two fundamental ways: first, it probably has the smallest alphabet in existence; and second, communication can (and should) occur in an incredibly diverse range of mediums. One can communicate in Solresol by singing, playing a musical instrument, speaking the syllables, writing musical notation, painting colors (namely, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet), naming the notes of a scale (e.g. C, D, E, F, G, A, B), writing numbers, tapping numbers morse code style, using the official shorthand (Figure 1), using hand signals (Figure 2), using alternate sign language (Figure 3), or virtually any system that makes use of seven elements.

(Don't be overwhelmed by that list! You don't need to be have perfect pitch, or even be familiar with music at all to learn Solresol. The seven spoken or written syllables are always the most basic form used for learning and almost all communication. Once you understand the language, the variety of possible expression can add versatility and creativity for those who are so inclined.)

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3
Solresol can embed meaning into almost anything, making it a fascinatingly versatile language. If you're intrigued and want to learn more, go on to lesson two.

If you want to read more about Solresol's history, I would recommend this PDF:

If you want to read even more, you should browse Dan Parson's compilation of pretty much every useful piece of information on Solresol on the internet - he's done a great job with it:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back to Blogging

Dosolfasi -

This blog has been quiet for a while, but I'm working on creating some lessons for learning Solresol.  I'd like to actually learn Solresol to the extent of being able to use it to write down thoughts and communicate with others, and I'm sure other people feel the same way.  So expect some actual valuable material in the near future.